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Tomorrow's leaders

Chapman University announces its third annual scholarship program.

By Elaine MurphyPublished: March 01, 2012

Elise Drakes,
last year's scholarship recipient
Chapman University’s Argyros School of Business and Economics is now accepting applications for its third annual Tomorrow’s Leaders scholarship program. Presented in partnership with OC METRO, the scholarship gives students a chance to make an impact on the Orange County business community through higher education by awarding recipients a $62,500 grant toward Chapman’s top-notch Flex MBA program.
   
“We’re thrilled to continue the Tomorrow’s Leaders scholarship program into its third year,” said Jon Kaplan, assistant dean of MBA programs at the Argyros School of Business and Economics. “The program is a way for Chapman to not only partner with, but also help build up, the Orange County business community. The vast majority of Chapman MBA graduates work in Orange County businesses.”
   
Of 15 finalists, one will receive the merit-based scholarship, while the others will each receive a $15,000 scholarship. A panel of Chapman judges will evaluate the submissions and review the applicants’ level of relevant experience in the local community, as well as the originality of their future goals. Judges will also strongly consider applicants’ contribution and commitment to Orange County businesses, and will assess how applicants will use an MBA to benefit Orange County.
   
Elise Drakes (pictured), last year’s scholarship recipient, was selected for her strong commitment to the Orange County community and healthcare field. Drakes, who studied architecture as an undergraduate, worked in healthcare architecture before entering the MBA program at Chapman and currently works at TAYLOR, a Newport Beach healthcare architectural firm that places a strong emphasis on volunteering and community outreach.
   
Drakes contributed as an architect to the redesign of Hoag Hospital’s Irvine facility and to the renovation of a medical clinic run by Share Our Selves, a Costa Mesa nonprofit serving homeless Orange County residents. There, she coordinated
a team of businesses, architects and nonprofits to manage the project.
   
Drakes moved to Orange County after graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
   
“The area finally became home for me when I began connecting myself – to the company I work for now [TAYLOR], as well as to several nonprofit organizations that have provided an outlet for me to
give back.”
   
Attending Chapman has allowed Drakes and her classmates to focus more on helping the community. 
   
“Just as we began school last fall, a group of my classmates and I decided to launch an organization that would allow each incoming MBA class to create a collective community service project, known as The Chapman MBA Project,” she says.
   
For the project, Drakes’ class founded the nonprofit Benefactor Foundation, which raises funds for college scholarships awarded to high school students.
   
“I am amazed by how passionate my classmates are toward establishing this organization and doing great things, which makes me even more grateful to be part of Chapman,” she says.

Candidates can apply by uploading their resume HERE. The deadline for applications is April 6, and the winner will be announced at a special ceremony at Chapman University on June 29.